Open mike 27/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, January 27th, 2015 - 216 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

216 comments on “Open mike 27/01/2015 ”

  1. if little went on tvnz breakfast to hose down expectations about his speech tomorrow..?


    • fisiani 1.1

      Don’t be so pessimistic. Andrew Little the orator will win hearts and minds tomorrow. He has the fulsome support of the caucus, the members and the unions. He will not stumble like Shearer and will not be as arrogant and pompous as The Cunliffe. He will give a polished performance and get the polls rising. Surely?

      • vto 1.1.1

        And John Key will sell his snake oil again.

        • phillip ure

          key may surprise/leave little flat-footed..

          ..key is speaking about social-housing..

          ..he’s gonna have to say/promise something..have a plan..

          ..something that will make the sell-off of state houses slightly more palatable..

          ..seeming to be more just an adjustment..

          ..that’s what i’m picking..

          ..whereas little i see as just assuring the business-elites that they have nothing to fear from a little-led labour..

          ..that’s what i’m picking..

          • vto

            Sure, but it will still be snake oil and not the full story. There will be ulterior motives. There will be half-truths. There will be deception. There will facts claimed which are anything but. There will be diversions courtesy of weak-arse jokes (he is never funny, even with partisan hat placed to side).

            But yes you’re right – he could step into Labour territory again and announce the building of 5,000 state houses this year. That would in fact be something – 5,000 state houses of 4-5 bedrooms, 300m2 size, double-internal access garage, 20 toilets, media room, office, butlers pantry and jet-ski parking space.

          • Skinny

            Yes Phil U. Key will be rewarding his ilk by kicking out tenants in the state houses in the hills above Mission Bay. There’s gold in them there hills, gold to be plundered by his rich mates. South Auckland is where the poor belong he will thinking but not saying.

      • phillip ure 1.1.2

        yr ‘concern’ is indeed touching..

      • Skinny 1.1.3

        Have you found your moral compass fisiani or your suffering from heat stroke. I suspect the later. My advice where a sun hat on your bald head.

      • Sabine 1.1.4

        Dear Fisiani,

        Don’t be so pessimistic. John Key the orator will win hearts and minds tomorrow. He has the fulsome support of the caucus, the members and the Landowners. He will not stumble and will not be arrogant and pompous. He will give a polished performance and get the polls rising. Surely?

        there i fixed it for you. Feeling betterer now? 🙂

        • fisiani

          Key does not have to win hearts and minds. He has won them already. Tomorrow is about consolidation and reaffirmation.


  2. gsays 2

    a few days ago, while enjoying a local cider and listening to some songs, we revisited this lovely tune.
    the thes’ the beat(en) generation.

    this is a stripped back acoustic version.
    originally released in 1988, its is perhaps more poignant now.
    random lyric
    “youth, o youth, are being seduced, by the greedy hands of politics and half truths.
    … reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation ”

    i urge you to take 3 1/2 mins from your lives and have a listen

  3. vto 3

    Just posted this on the “Image of Farming” thread and repeat it here …….

    Today’s polemic rant from yet another Fed Farmers officer ….

    There are most of the main issues in there of course, but the elephant in the room imo, is the over-arching theme about taking from / altering the environment to suit farming. In this regard the writer points to the most cows in Israel and the biggest dairy farm in Saudi Arabia, both dry places of course, as if these somehow provide an argument for doing what is being done in NZ i.e. altering and eating the environment… “they are doing it so why aren’t we?”. That is no argument. At all.

    We have been eating and altering the environment for the last 150 years (and further back prior to Euro and Asian invasion). The effects have been severely degraded rivers, virtually zero forests left with subsequent plant and animal life extinguishment, the list goes on.

    Why are we continuing to eat the environment when we have seen the effects and are doing way too little to reverse things?

    The writers view is understandable when it comes from his subjective position however it completely misses the big picture – you know, the one that involves leaving a better place for our mokopuna, which we in NZ have never done! We have never left the land in better condition than when we got it. In 150 years. Sobering fact that we should dwell on.

    How about this – we ban all bare land and let mother nature revert. Imagine NZ with full native bush cover. Incredible. Mind-blowing. (of course there are some issues to be dealt with in such a plan)….. *sigh*

    • b waghorn 3.1

      Come vto you told me to think once you should try some of you’re own medicine. He didn’t appear to be asking for any more than for people to find out the truth about about drought relief and other factors around farming .

      • vto 3.1.1

        Sure. Pet topic of mine so feel free to discount as you see fit, though the above is my opinion based on knowing plenty heaps about drought, its relief, and farming.

      • vto 3.1.2

        You know mr waghorn, the really good thing is that this debate has finally sparked up to an extent where I think the raising of the issues and the initial anger and yelling between the parties has been dealt with and now the debate moves to a calmer and more reasoned debate, as you point out the writer points out… That is very good.

        Imo though the thing to watch our for is that we don’t address the big picture on how need to deal with the planet and it gets tied down into technical details that exist in the current paradigm. The paradigm needs changing. This is where the debate should focus before dropping down into detail. I don’t know if that is where the debate is – I think it is at, for example, whether or not a particular dam should be built instead of whether any dam should be built i.e. live within the planet’s means.

        • weka

          you’re making some very astute points here vto.

        • Tracey

          his point that any water they take is with consent doesn’t mean they are not wrecking the environment to do so. Also farmers are one of the main lobbyists to change the RMA. Wont change the affordability of houses in Auckland giving more river draining irrigation to farmers.

        • b waghorn

          I have not got the time unfortunately to get enough information to make a real informed comment on the smaller detail of what’s right or wrong or how far we should go on our current model of farming.
          On the big picture stuff all the problems on this rock of ours start and finish with mankind and I doubt we are capable as a species of making the needed changes . ( unless we build a all powerful religion around John Lennon s”IMAGINE” )

    • Murray Rawshark 3.2

      What year was the Asian invasion?

  4. ed:..just found of the funniest vid-clips i have seen for some time..

    (ed:..this will take you to the shangri-las doing leader of the pack..(vocals have been cleaned up..and it sounds great..)

    ..all the humour is in the visuals.. can wonder @ the lop-sided bun of the lead-singer..

    ..but the real laugh-out-loud stuff happens when the ‘leader of the pack’ wheels onto the stage..

    ..and just when you think it can’t get any funnier..

    ..said leader of the pack does things with his ‘hog’..


  5. saveNZ 5

    Europe’s top rights body has said mass surveillance practices are a fundamental threat to human rights and violate the right to privacy enshrined in European law.

    The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe says in a report that it is “deeply concerned” by the “far-reaching, technologically advanced systems” used by the US and UK to collect, store and analyse the data of private citizens. It describes the scale of spying by the US National Security Agency, revealed by Edward Snowden, as “stunning”.

    The report also suggests that British laws that give the monitoring agency GCHQ wide-ranging powers are incompatible with the European convention on human rights. It argues that British surveillance may be at odds with article 8, the right to privacy, as well as article 10, which guarantees freedom of expression, and article 6, the right to a fair trial.

    “These rights are cornerstones of democracy. Their infringement without adequate judicial control jeopardises the rule of law,” it says.

  6. rawshark-yeshe 6

    No explanation from anyone or anywhere will satisfy me as to why the NZ flag was flown at half mast on Auckland Harbour Bridge ( and likely elsewhere too) in ‘honour’ of the late Saudi King, ruler of all things vile and misogynist.

    H.M. Betty Windsor, mother of four, is reported as having given him her personal opinion some years back … this is worth a moment …–eJYX859rsl

    Go, girl !!!

  7. of course for the nz labour party..what to look at with a degree of nervousness coming out of the greek election.. been the fate of the ‘socialist’ party..

    ..’cos..y’ labour here..the ‘socialist’ party in greece was socialist in name only..

    ..and actually..were pretty much in ideological-lockstep with the nz labour party.. being promoters/defenders of the neo-lib paradigm..for the previous decades.. yrslves..!

    ..this greek version of our labour party..still clinging to those neo-lib policies/that history.. only got a single-figure result this election..

    ..and this from a party that dominated greek politics during the 80’s/90’s..and like here..alternated power with their version of our national party..

    ..(might be time for little to do a

    ..a milquetoast-speech/appearance in front of his business-audience.. do him much more harm than good..)

  8. Morrissey 8

    The man who knew too much for Griffin and Bell
    Gordon Campbell on Jim Mora’s Panel

    “Someone like Scoop’s Gordon Campbell would be ideal. He wouldn’t let Hooton get away with anything.”—Anne
    “Gordon Campbell would be great! (although I don’t think I’ve heard him on radio before).”—weka

    Actually, Gordon Campbell WAS a guest on The Panel a few years ago, on at least two occasions. In the dire history of this dog of a show, Campbell supplies not one but TWO highlights: on one occasion confounding the bullying ex-copper Graham Bell and on another confounding the superficially jolly back-slapper Richard Griffin. On each occasion Campbell simply pointed out that they did not have a clue what they were talking about. A humiliated Bell retreated into a glowering, resentful silence, while Griffin made a groveling apology and retraction on the spot.

    • Anne 8.1

      Yes, I remember that. We never heard Campbell again but whether it was because he wasn’t invited back or whether he chose not to return because he considered it a waste of time I don’t know. I suspect it was the latter.

  9. framu 9

    Am i right in thinking a saw not 1 but 2 shots of the PM in the BMW golf open adds?

    Is that ‘within the rules”?

  10. hoom 10
    Super-rich to cough up $77m extra tax after IRD probe

    Super-rich busted for at least $77m tax fraud.

    If I recall correctly thats twice the amount of beneficiary fraud.

    • Clemgeopin 10.1

      Super-rich busted for at least $77m tax fraud.

      These rich are the real beneficiaries, parasites and scum of the country. Put the buggers in jail for a few years to spend in the company of low level crims and without any special privileges.

      A lesson they and the other rich crooks will never forget.

    • mac1 10.2

      That article is actually startling, boom. The super-rich are defined as having over $50 million and there are 200 individuals in that group which is being investigated by the IRD special team. 93 declared taxable income below $70,000.

      $77 million is being sought in additional assessments. If you measure that figure against the 200 being investigated, that’s $350,000 each in taxation which was wrongly declared. If it’s put against the 93, then it’s $827,000 avoided…………..

      According to mickysavage in February 2014 in this Standard post average beneficiary fraud was $22 million in 2010.

      In mickysavage’s post, the average fraud for tax evasion was $800,000.

      I guess the question is, why aren’t the fraudsters who under-claimed by $77 million at an average of the amount of convicted fraudsters facing the courts?

      The onus should be on a person making false declarations to prove he or she is not guilty. After all, they have signed a declaration that their tax claim is true. That process would name them, perhaps shame them, and act as a deterrent with the prospect of jail time.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.2.1

        The super-rich are defined as having over $50 million and there are 200 individuals in that group which is being investigated by the IRD special team.

        Let’s assume that the average wealth of these individuals is $100M (where the minimum wealth is $50M). Therefore the 200 individuals involved have a net wealth of $20B = $20,000M dollars.

        $77M in extra tax assessed = 0.39% of their net wealth.

        I think the super-rich will live through this experience.

        • mac1

          At this level of assets and income, they are at the top of the one percenters- the owners of 50% of the world’s wealth. You are a one percenter with assets above about $800,000.

          • Colonial Rawshark


            What the 1%ers with $800K net wealth don’t realise is the massive wealth inequality within the 1%. It is in fact in the personal interests of most of the 1% to reduce wealth inequality!

        • b waghorn

          It might be only 0.39% but I bet the buggers fight to keep it.

      • Murray Rawshark 10.2.2

        “The onus should be on a person making false declarations to prove he or she is not guilty.”

        I strongly disagree. The bedrock of our justice system, even hardly observed in practice, should not be abandoned for money. The onus is still on the prosecution, although tax magistrates with investigatory powers would be a good idea.

        Your proposal would immediately be used against Dotcom, for a start, and half the population would believe he was guilty without any proof.

        • mac1

          Your’e absolutely right, Murray Rawshark. And I’m glad you strongly disagree. I wrote more out of sheer frustration as to how people can have so much and want to rort even more.

          I like your idea of tax magistrates.

          Do these tax dodgers get penalty tax to help defray the cost of the IRD’s work? Sort of ‘abuser pays’?

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.3

        That process would name them, perhaps shame them, and act as a deterrent with the prospect of jail time.

        And allow the crown to take their wealth under the Criminal Proceeds law (or whatever it’s called).

    • BassGuy 10.3

      I wish they’d this part differently:

      “The country’s most well-off have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in extra tax…”

      The “extra tax” part makes it sound like they’ve paid more tax they they should have, to me at any rate.

      • mac1 10.3.1

        Yers. Bassguy. It’s $77 million in tax that had been avoided/undeclared/reassessed over and above what they had assessed.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.3.2

        And that would be the way that it’s supposed to sound like. The MSM protect the rich – it seems to be their main job.

  11. Morrissey 11

    Four days before Kristallnacht,
    the Herald was breezily promoting travel to Nazi Germany

    By M. F. GRAHAM
    New Zealand Herald, 5 November 1938, Page 1 of Supplement

    IT would be hard to decide which thought us the more courageous—our old friends in England, when told we were planning to visit Germany, or our new German friends on learning that we had braved the perils of world travel all the way from New Zealand in order to enjoy a few weeks’ rest and relaxation, in their peaceful and prosperous country. ….——-10–1—-0–

    • morrissy.. u plse tell us why you so distorted what actually happened.. yr reporting of the hooton/williams piece on nat-rad yesterday..

      • Morrissey 11.1.1 u plse tell us why you so distorted what actually happened.. yr reporting of the hooton/williams piece on nat-rad yesterday..

        Golly, phillip, you sure like to bang away at something, even when it’s been patiently clarified for you. If you think Hooton was not trying to undermine Andrew Little yesterday, and if you failed to comprehend that Mike Williams was in his usual groveling mode, then I suggest that you lay off the weed for a while, and clear your head.

        • phillip ure

          as i asked u yesterday..

 u plse specify how hooton was ‘undermining’ little..

          ..and cd you also detail what williams shd not have ‘agreed with’…

          ..(in that opening-segment you ostensibly ‘reported’ on..)

          ..everything hooton said was matter-of-fact/the-bleeding-obvious..

          ..there was nothing for williams to disagree with..

          (and a pot-sneer..?..really..?..that’s all ya got..?…)

          ..and cd u show me where u said/did this..

          “..even when it’s been patiently clarified for you..”

          • Morrissey

            No that’s not “all I’ve got”, phillip, but your obtuseness is something to behold. You usually write quite interesting and thoughtful messages, but on this occasion you’ve somehow got the idea that Hooton was not playing games yesterday, and that Williams was anything other than the groveller he usually is.

            You’re either lying like a National Party operative, or you’re hallucinating. I can’t think of a better explanation than too much dope.

            • phillip ure

              i wd ask anyone to go and listen to that segment..

              ..this doesn’t need to be argued between us..

              ..listeners can make their own call..

              ..what u did is clear..

              ..i am asking ‘why?’..

              (..then again..maybe you’ve sprung me guv..!..maybe i am a national party deep cover..

              ..and u say i am effected by ‘dope’..?..

              ..does yrs just come naturally..?..)

              • Morrissey

                i wd ask anyone to go and listen to that segment..

                Indeed. And could anyone who thinks Hooton was not up to his usual smarmy insinuations and that Williams was not kowtowing in his usual humiliating fashion, please say so.

            • phillip ure

              “..“..even when it’s been patiently clarified for you..”

     was that another lie too..?

              ..and why the need to make shit up about them..?

              ..aren’t they bad enough in their own right..?

              ..surely just accurately reporting what they say/do is enough in itself..

            • weka

              Morrisey, enough with the ad hominems. Pu actually asked a pretty straight forward question: how did Hooton undermine Little?

              Here’s the link in case anyone wants the primary source.


              • Morrissey

                Morrisey, enough with the ad hominems.

                You’re a fine one to talk, my friend!

                Pu actually asked a pretty straight forward question: how did Hooton undermine Little?

                He TRIED to undermine him, to plant a seed of doubt in listeners’ minds. Anybody with a grain of sense, who isn’t on drugs, could understand what he was up to. He put the most negative possible spin on the latest polls. He even said that Little’s leadership would be endangered.

                • weka

                  “You’re a fine one to talk, my friend!”

                  Where is the ad hominem in my comment to you? Or recent comments to you?

                • weka

                  Thanks for clarifying. I’ve gone and had a listen myself now, and largely agree*. See below.

                  *except for the bits about pu’s drug use. I’m guessing his disagreement is politics (he thinks Labour is deficient etc).

              • weka

                1. in latest poll, Labour have half what National do. Because we’re in FPP still, thanks Matthew.

                2. far lower than Goff or Shearer or any of Little’s predecessor’s were polling. Because all of Labour’s problems are Little’s fault now, and he alone has to turn things around from one poll to the next.

                3. if Little can’t end the year higher than 26% then we’re looking at another leadership change by the end of 2015

                4. indiviual polls are what count, not trends.

                Looks like fairly standard manipulative spin from Hooton to me. He wants to undermine the Labour party and the left by making out that Little is deficient, and Labour are still in disarray and will need a new leader! 🙄

                That’s the first two minutes. Can’t be bothered with the rest, so am just going to skip to Williams.

                Ryan asked Williams not if he agrees with Hooton in general, but if he agrees that Little now needs to pick up the ball with any and every opportunity.

                Williams, “Yeah, I would absolutely agree with almost everything Matthew said.” Followed by some comment about the summer being almost politics free moodwise amongst the public.

                He then goes on to say some things that actually contradict Hooton, so the question for me remains why does Williams do that agreeing with shit at the start of his commentary?

                • Morrissey

                  Thanks weka, for taking the time to seriously read what I wrote and check it against phillip’s allegations. You’re correct: his loathing for the Labour leadership has blinded him to the extent that he is prepared to endorse the manipulative words of Matthew Hooton, which were as sincere yesterday as they were in his ludicrous tribute to Nelson Mandela in December 2013.

                  • you lying prick morrissey..

                    ..hooton said labour are at 26% in the polls..fact..

                    ..hooton said little has 12 months to prove himself..fact..

                    ..hooton said littles’ speech on wed ins important..fact..

                    ..that is all he said..that is all williams agreed with..

                    ..and a factcheck 4 you..i supported little for the labour party leadership..

                    ..what a fucken lying-troll/piece-of-work u have turned out to be..

                    • Morrissey

                      Gosh, phillip, a simple expression of disagreement would have put your case across clearly. Why escalate it to such unpleasantness?

                      I note also that you hijacked a serious thread about something else entirely, that I had initiated. If you do that again, I will make a formal complaint to the Headmaster.

                    • i’m sorry..?

                      ..u make shit up about me..and do serial drug-slurs..

                      ..and i am the ‘unpleasant’ one..


                  • weka

                    “You’re correct: his loathing for the Labour leadership has blinded him to the extent that he is prepared to endorse the manipulative words of Matthew Hooton,”

                    ‘cept I didn’t say that about phil 🙂

                    • Morrissey

                      ‘cept I didn’t say that about phil

                      Well, yes you did, actually. You wrote: “I’m guessing his disagreement is politics (he thinks Labour is deficient etc).”

                      I wrote: “his loathing for the Labour leadership has blinded him to the extent that he is prepared to endorse the manipulative words of Matthew Hooton”

                      In other words, as you wrote, he’s driven by his (quite understandable) attitude about the Labour Party.

                    • weka


                      I guessed, you asserted fact.

                      I said I thought it was about phil’s politics, you said it IS about his hatred as motivation and what that hatred does to his perception.

                      There is a difference here and it’s to do with attributing things to other people that haven’t been checked out. It takes people into conversational cul de sacs. I’m not picking on you, we all do it. I just saw this thing happening and though ok, here we go again. And what a waste when we could actually be talking about the politics.

                      You and phil appeared to be talking about different things. Phil was talking about the content of Hooton’s statements at face value, you were talking about what Hooton was doing with those statements and Hooton’s motivation. IMO both are valid topics, and arguing about which is rightfully valid is redundant.

                    • Morrissey

                      Well said, weka! I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  Williams, “Yeah, I would absolutely agree with almost everything Matthew said.”

                  And that’s what listeners will remember. Williams is an idiot. How about something like “Obviously I don’t see things the same way that the NAct asslicker Hooton does, even though a few facts have crept into his analysis this time.”

                  • Morrissey

                    Exactly, Murray.

                    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                      Aside from that particular interview and more generally with other appearances, what concerns me is that Williams does not take the lead on any narrative or put up other compelling alternative perspectives.

                    • gsays

                      i agree, kiwiri, (@3.40pm)
                      and your comment would sum up the approach the party he was president of.

  12. Molly 12

    Indicative of the moral thought processes of those that already have, a quote from
    Joanna Pidgeon – Auckland District Law Society Vice President in today’s Herald article: The Ups and Downs of apartment living.

    “You can limit your liability Joanna Pidgeon, Auckland District Law Society vice-president, has an exceptionally big Auckland floor which she plans to convert into an apartment and is enthusiastic about inner-city living.

    She owns a 240sq m residential floor in a Vincent St building which comes with a 10sq m storeroom and three car parks.

    But she advised people to buy in the name of a company, not an individual, saying this could act as protection if something went wrong.

    “That way, there’s limited liability. If you can’t pay your body corporate fees, you can liquidate a company. If it’s bought in the name of an individual, that person can be bankrupted for non-payment.””

    No mention of the financial consequences of those who her LLC owes money to, and whether it is justifiable that she uses a company to own her property – which more than likely can claim maintenance and body corporate fees as expenses.

  13. someone has stolen my car…

    • Clemgeopin 13.1

      “someone has stolen my car…”

      What a bomb!

      What happened?

      • phillip ure 13.1.1

        stolen from outside my house..

        • phillip ure

          anyone got a car they don’t want/need..?

          • Skinny

            There are some scumbags about, sorry to hear Phil hope they just took it for a joyride locally and it’s been parked up undamaged. I have a friend ( he is away for a week) who buys good cheaps cars, will see if there is a runner going for bugger all.

        • Clemgeopin

          That is a real bugger when it happens.

          Was it locked? Have you informed the police? Insured?

          What will you do now?

          • phillip ure


            ..not yet..will do..


            ..i dunno why anyone wd want to ‘joyride’ in it..

   was a 91 subaru legacy of the range that yr..

            ..and in really mint condition..(it was no ‘bomb’..)

            ..a black/chrome beast…with good/flash wheels/rubber..

            ..dead easy to steal..don’t think i’ll be seeing it again..

            ..and i had just got new warrant etc..grrr!!!!

   does put a bit of a bump in yer day..i hafta say..

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Take heart …someone is going to be VERY happy cruising in your joy machine.

              Burglars struck our abode before Xmas….cleaned out anything of value plugged into the 240V.

              Insurance company have been complete and utter rhymes with bankers.

              Contents policy cancelled. Still no payout.

              BIG discussion about insurance company dodgey doings needed at some stage.

            • framu

              “subaru legacy wagon”

              legacy, forrester and imprezza are the fav theft car of all time

              thats all the answer you need really – the year is somewhat irrelevant after that

              also – used to drive a legacy station wagon, swapped to a nissan wingroad – service charges dropped by half simply from having more room in the engine bay and things like spark plugs on top instead of jammed down the side

            • BassGuy

              I feel for you. A few years ago I had a new muffler put on my car, which they said would last the rest of the car’s life. It did, of course, but it only had to last three whole days. Cost me about $400 as well.

              Sadly, the Subaru Legacy holds a position in the top ten most stolen cars in the country.

              I think you’re right, I think it’s probably been taken because of its good condition.

              There’s no harm in me hoping you get it back, though.

            • phillip ure

              and what really hurts..

     had a box of my favourite mix-tapes..

              • framu

                dont worry – those all turn into queen tapes after a while in the car anyway

                • BassGuy

                  I’ve owned three copies of that book. Everyone who’s read even a few pages of it seems to just nick it, and who can blame them?

                  Actually, I’m not even sure I still have my latest copy…

            • Clemgeopin

              I know it is pretty useless my saying it, but I would definitely have given you a car if I had a spare one.

              Hopefully, someone will be able to help you soon.

              If you set up an account, (say, the ‘give a little’ or something else), I will be happy to contribute a small donation.

  14. weka 14

    Time to stop eating sardines. When near top of the food chain species are being affected, there is something seriously wrong.

    The whole article is worth a read for its lay person coverage of how sea ecosystems work and why they are important.

    In April 2014, a team of researchers from Wake Forest University announced that blue-footed boobies had nearly stopped breeding, putting the survival of the species in grave danger.

    Researchers from University of California reported similar findings about another shorebird 2,000 miles from Galapagos. While conducting a survey of Mexico’s Natural Protected Areas, they discovered that the endangered California brown pelican was largely absent from its primary nesting grounds. Like the boobies, they had nearly stopped breeding. Meanwhile, marine scientists from NOAA had been studying the unprecedented illness of thousands of sea lions on California coastlines.

    Are marine animals experiencing a streak of mysterious bad luck? Perhaps. But perhaps it’s not as mysterious as it may seem. Blue-footed boobies, California brown pelicans, sea lions, and a number of other species have something in common: Their natural diet is comprised largely of Pacific sardines, which have suffered the worst population crash since the mid-1900s, leading scientists to posit that the sardine crash may be having widespread impacts on local and migratory species dependent on the Pacific Ocean.

    In 1948, this question was posed to ocean biologist Ed Rickett, who was investigating the most famous sardine crash in history, which began in 1946. He responded, “They’re in cans!” Today’s scientists don’t think the answer is so simple, as sardine populations are known for following a boom-and-bust cycle. However, they don’t deny that rampant fishing played a significant role in the mid-century crash, and have found that cool water temperatures triggered a natural decline in the 1940s, which was greatly exacerbated by overfishing. It would take four decades for the population to recover from that crash.

    • Poission 14.1

      Today’s scientists don’t think the answer is so simple, as sardine populations are known for following a boom-and-bust cycle.

      There are significant regime changes in species quanta over long periods of time,the so called anchovies sardine regimes.

      • weka 14.1.1

        Ae, the natural boom/bust cycle needs to be undestood in the context of CC and over-fishing.

        Which is another reason why I don’t get why people think population isn’t an issue. The ocean makes this really clear, because the ecosystems are much more fluid than on land. We are overfishing. We are altering the biosphere to an extent that affects the ocean’s ability to maintain itself. Even if we argue that CC is about fair distribution of use of resources, there is no getting around the finite planet.

        Are we at peak fisheries yet? If we want to reverse resource depletion what should we be eating? Where will it be grown and what will that do to those ecosystems?

  15. Pat O'Dea 15

    “The ‘Stone Age’ didn’t end because we ran out of stones, just as the ‘Oil Age’ will not end because we ran out of oil”

    The age of peak oil has ended.

    Welcome to the age of AGW

    For a time the peak oil spectre was promoted by some pundits as a greater threat to humanity than climate change.

    This false supposition has been put to rest.

    Harnessing the inexhaustible resource of human ingenuity, has delivered us a new age of cheap superabundance, of unconventional fossil fuels. The new technologies of Tar Sands, Fracking, Deep Sea Oil and Gas, have pushed the prospect of peak oil back over the horizon of the foreseeable future.

    If only the same inexhaustible human creativity and ingenuity could be applied to renewables.

    • Colonial Rawshark 15.1

      Harnessing the inexhaustible resource of human ingenuity, has delivered us a new age of cheap superabundance, of unconventional fossil fuels. The new technologies of Tar Sands, Fracking, Deep Sea Oil and Gas, have pushed the prospect of peak oil back over the horizon of the foreseeable future.

      You’re utterly wrong on this. There is no more cheap fossil fuels to be found.

      None of what you mention can deliver a barrel of oil to the market for less than US$50. Is that now considered “cheap”?

      The global economic stagnation that Main St has been in for years – that’s a direct result of Peak Oil (that is, peak CONVENTIONAL oil from land based oil wells) in 2005 playing out through the cost structures of the entire world.

      • weka 15.1.1

        “You’re utterly wrong on this. There is no more cheap fossil fuels to be found.”

        You’re both wrong 😛

        Or right.

        Peak Oil was for a long time considered the pressing problem because many thought that it would prevent CC. But it didn’t arrive on time and many (myself included) have now shifted to seeing CC as the pressing issue because we can’t rely on PO to undermine the carbon economy in time. It will happen, but it will be too late.

        So yes, there is no more cheap oil but we are in a transition period where the economy will pull at all the oil it can get until it falls over, and in that sense, PO is a sub issue.

        In other words ‘cheap’ is relative.

        • Poission

          Peak Oil was for a long time considered the pressing problem because many thought that it would prevent CC

          It is not a get out of jail card for policy makers.A lot of the underlying generic memes were never correct in the first place.

          The significant (conservative) error in the statistical assumptions have been questioned and the problem is greater then many assume.

          The errors aside,the underlying policy initiatives (which have been in place since the 70’s,have had an effect on the demand side of the equation, the US transport and home heating efficiencies( gas vs oil) have reduced US demand by around 2 million barrels per day.

        • marty mars

          I think cv is correct.

          Peak oil has occurred but it has a long tail because harder more expensive options are being exhausted and the alternative for the proponents of oil is not palatable, not even conceivable. I’m not sure if PO was thought to prevent CC – CC is actually runaway-CC now and that is definitely related to the excessive orgy of oil we have lived and burned through.

          • weka

            The theory was that PO would mitigate the worst effects of CC, because we would be forced off FF. It wasn’t going to prevent CC (it’s always been too late for that), but there was the idea that it would stop it from getting so bad. But it didn’t happen in the timeframe expected.

    • weka 15.2

      “If only the same inexhaustible human creativity and ingenuity could be applied to renewables.”

      Only if we powerdown. If we transition to renewables to ensure BAU, we will continue on our path of overpopulation, resource overshoot, environmental destruction, peak soil, poverty, third world starvation, war, violence etc.

      I liked your post btw, it seemed more accessible and to the point than some of the others. Not saying they all have to be like this, just that I personally found it better.

  16. Gosman 16

    Interesting to see that the government owned shops were set up by the Socialist Chavista regime with the aim to never again be subject to shortages of goods yet they themselves are suiffering a huge shortage of goods.

    Of course it is all the fault of the ‘evil’ opposition forces and not the result of dunderheaded policies of the government itself – “According to one official, the children of the rich are “infiltrating people into the queues” to cause trouble.”

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      Venezuela is under active economic attack by the western financial markets and billion dollar hedge funds. What do you expect.

      • Gosman 16.1.1

        Not to forget all those rich kids standing in line to make the country look foolish.

        • Morrissey

          Gosman, you are a fool. You know nothing about Venezuela.

          And, no, haunting right wing blogs and watching Fox News is not a credible way of learning anything.

          I told you some time ago to embark on a course of deep, sustained and serious reading. You clearly have not done so. Why are you still here?

          • Gosman

            Do you think The Economist is making stuff up about Venezuela?

            Do you deny there are massive shortages and people waiting in lines for hours?

            If this is in fact happening how do you explain it if not as the result of policies of the government of Venezuela?

            • Morrissey

              Do you think The Economist is making stuff up about Venezuela?
              I know The Economist is making stuff up about Venezuela, just as the Grauniad and the Washington Post do. Since you do not know anything, you believe their channeling of State Department black propaganda.

              Do you deny there are massive shortages and people waiting in lines for hours?
              There is certainly orchestrated hoarding of essential items in order to create a sense of crisis. The United States is using the same game plan it did in Chile in order to destabilize and eventually destroy that democratically elected government. Unfortunately for the extreme right in Venezuela, and for its U.S. funder, the people of Venezuela are well aware of what is happening. They overturned the U.S.-sponsored coup in 2002, so a bit of economic wrecking is not going to achieve very much. No one, other than fools like you, believes that Venezuela will capitulate.

              Your remaining question, as well as being grammatically a nonsense, provides further evidence that you do not know what you are talking about. I ask again: why are you here? Why are you not seriously reading?

  17. Tracey 17

    Collins v Goff in next Auckland Mayoral race.

    A lose/lose for Auckland

    • Colonial Rawshark 17.1

      But a win for the rest of the nation 😛

      • Murray Rawshark 17.1.1

        Not really. What happens in Auckland eventually filters through to the rest of the nation.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          You know that big ass wall Saudi Arabia is building between it and Iraq? I suggest the same. It will create a lot of needed employment.

  18. ianmac 18

    So. John Key should have not been elected according to the case bought to the High Court by Arthur Taylor. Interesting idea but what if he succeeded?
    Prisoner Arthur Taylor is representing himself in the High Court at Auckland today, arguing Prime Minister John Key shouldn’t have been elected in Helensville, as Auckland Prison inmates were denied their right to vote.
    Taylor says a 2010 amendment to the law which stopped them voting is dangerous, as parliamentarians shouldn’t decide who can and can’t elect them.

    He said there was no telling who the amendment could be extended to, alleging refugees, beneficiaries, or those who earn less than $28,000 could all be on the list.

    • Rosemary McDonald 18.1

      It is not clear to me how the honourable Mr. Taylor has managed to link prisoners with beneficiaries and low income earners….with the threat that the latter two groups could find their right to vote….gone.

      I’m not the sharpest hook in the tackle box…so help me here.

      I am also not inclined towards sympathy towards our incarcerated cousins…unless the incarceration is unjust…and it will be a happy day for disabled New Zealanders when the government, and by default the community, considers people with disability as worthy of government expenditure as prisoners.

      And as for Mr Taylor objecting to not being able to make his defence from the dock…tough …

      When my partner testified in court…no facility to enter the witness stand like everyone else…which does bring one on a higher level than the lawyers, and only slightly lower than the judge.

      They shagged around trying to rig up room at a table, a microphone, etc.

      Having to crane his broken neck to answer the Judge caused him actual physical discomfort.

      He was on the verge of passing out by the time they had finished with him.

      • Murray Rawshark 18.1.1

        I’d say most incarcerations are unjust and a waste of time and money. We can expect more of them as more private prisons are built. What Arthur Taylor is saying is that if a government can decide one group of citizens lose their voting rights, they can easily extend that to other groups. I think he has a valid point and I think many NAct supporters would happily see beneficiaries lose the right. Except for pensionsers, of course. I wish Arthur luck with his case.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “I’d say most incarcerations are unjust and a waste of time and money. ”

          At the risk of inciting some sort of shit storm vis a vis “what to do with the bad guys”….well….Murray Rawshark…what do you do with the bad guys?

          Send them all round to live at yours, with your family, while society develops a better way of combining relevant and effective punishment and rehabilitation with the interests of victims and the safety of the larger community?

          Is that a “yes, bring them all round!” I hear?

          Cause, in the meantime, for better or worse, this is the system we have….and it is far from perfect for anyone…especially for the innocent victims of offenders released back into the community when there time is up.

          As for the “money”.

          Hell yes, I agree the minimum of $90, 000 per annum per prisoner is a waste of money.

          Oh, that the government would agree to a budget of $90,000 per year to keep a disabled person safe, housed, cared for properly!

          Arthur Taylor is not, IMHO, a fearless battler for the rights of the less advantaged.

          He is, IMHO, a narcissistic grandstander.

          • Murray Rawshark

            Thank you for presenting the same arguments against prison reform that are made by the SS Trust. I think you have the wrong blog.

            As you say, you’re not the sharpest hook in the tackle box.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Why is it, oh annon one, that whenever anyone presents an alternate view here they get attacked.

              Perhaps the best form of defence?

              Pray tell, where are the hints that the government in it’s infinite evil is plotting a removal of voting rights from beneficiaries and those on low incomes?

              However…if you can cast your mind back to 17th May 2013…the right to take a specific issue to the Human Rights Review Tribunal and the Courts was removed from people with disabilities and their family carers.

              This produced an audible (if short lived) gasp of outrage from the left…and if you wander back through TS archive you will find my post….

              No one replied.


              Because god forbid that a person with a genuine lived experience of an issue is given any credence

              In the real world, like it or not MR, there are some people who are simply too dangerous to be allowed to free range.

              Others, capable of ‘rehabilitation’ ; lock them up in isolation, away from other prisoners, but with access to education and health care, addiction counselling and grief and anger management therapy. Much more important than all that….give them space to actually think…

              What are YOUR suggestions MR?

              • weka

                “Pray tell, where are the hints that the government in it’s infinite evil is plotting a removal of voting rights from beneficiaries and those on low incomes?”

                Hyperbolic strawman. No-one has suggested that the govt is plotting this. The point is that if you remove voting rights from one sector, it makes others vulnerable. I can see the day down the line when beneficiaries are treated as a separate class under law. They’re already doing it via policy.

                If you read the headline, Taylor is talking about ‘precedent’.

                Also, see Milt’s point below about Kiwiblog commenters believing that only net tax payers should vote. There are people in NZ that want this, and it’s safe to assume some of them are in National or ACT.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Also, see Milt’s point below about Kiwiblog commenters believing that only net tax payers should vote. There are people in NZ that want this, and it’s safe to assume some of them are in National or ACT.

                  Yeah, that bit’s really scary but the really scary point is that most of the people wanting don’t realise that they will very rapidly not be net tax payers if it comes in. Only the 1% will be allowed to vote.

              • weka

                However…if you can cast your mind back to 17th May 2013…the right to take a specific issue to the Human Rights Review Tribunal and the Courts was removed from people with disabilities and their family carers.

                This produced an audible (if short lived) gasp of outrage from the left…and if you wander back through TS archive you will find my post….

                No one replied.


                Do you mean comment rather than post?

                Lots of people make comments on ts without getting a reply.

                The standard isn’t that great on disability issues.

                I don’t see the connection with the prisoner voting article though.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “The standard isn’t that great on disability issues.”

                  No shit, Sherlock. lol. (or whatever is the acceptable emoticon to denote “not being nasty, just saying, ok?”)

                  “I don’t see the connection with the prisoner voting article though.”

                  Going to be difficult this, so bear with me, while I coax my average brain into forming an (acceptable) explanation.

                  Its like this.

                  Both my partner and myself (read my comment from 2013) have still not recovered from that one act. Or Act.

                  When we hear of other, in our humble opinion, less worthy groups and individuals, clamouring and demanding that their rights under NZBORA are acknowledged, we …..well….not very sharp emoters that we are…cry.

                  Can’t seem to help it. And no…we make a particular point of not feeding each others grief.

                  Why is it that those who have committed crimes are considered more worthy than non ACC disabled Kiwis?

                  If we were prisoners and not happy with the way we are treated, we could trot off to the HRC or the Courts…and at least have our day.

                  Neither Labour nor the Greens, despite the huff and puff in the House that day made the issue of that particular legislation an issue….until the 11th hour.

                  In my ignorance I foolishly thought that perhaps wandering around in this bastion of left wingerism would give me a little insight as to why this ‘outrage’ that nearly “broke the constitution” (A Geddis) was a short lived issue.

                  So…Mr Taylor gets up on his high one, dragging in the ‘innocent’ disadvantaged to support his defense of the rights of prisoners…but no mention of the disabled????

                  Why would that be?

                  Because they ALREADY came for the disabled….and who cried “breach of rights”….for long enough?

                  Clickety clack, clickety clack…as the train cars rolled out of the siding…..

                  • lprent

                    “The Standard” doesn’t really exist. It is kind of a gestalt of its fervently disagreeing parts. A place rather than an entity. Only shallow fools* who try to avoid responsibility by treating a machine as a being.

                    If you want to change something about what it is talking about, then the best way find someone who can write posts (an artform in its own right), preferably shortish, about a topic and send them in as a guest post.

                    I’m trying to guest posts off my plate at present. But if you don’t catch my frenzied attention, then try again…


                    * Bomber comes to mind here along with the crowds of other avowed timewasters who in the last 7 years have determined to dirty the site, and who we have left in our wake. If I see someone describing TS as an entity, I usually either ban them to help them for their search for their perfect solution (a number of other blogs arose out of that) or recruit them to find out why things don’t happen as they naively think that they should (ditto).

                    • weka

                      What’s the story with guest posting at the moment? I’ve seen a couple of people say they’ve submitted things and just never heard back from anyone. Is this a holiday thing, or is there a backlog or what?

                  • weka

                    The way you are connecting this to the article on prisoner voting appears to be based on your prejudice against people in prison. I think your arguments about disability and the legislation are good, but I think you are undermining them by this comparison. For one, most people here will disagree with you that people in prison are lesser human beings when it comes to human rights, and so the conversation will get bogged down in that. You will also have a hard time arguing for human rights for one group by saying that some people are less worthy or more worthy than others.

                    “Why is it that those who have committed crimes are considered more worthy than non ACC disabled Kiwis?”

                    They’re not. People convicted of a crime can’t vote. Your partner, and myself (who also has a non-ACC covered disability and who the state routinely treats as second class), can vote. So in that instance your partner and myself have more rights and by your argument are more worthy.

                    To put it another way, the govt is saying that people with disabilities and people in prison are both not as worthy as the rest of NZ. Māori too, if you look at the Foreshore and Seabed Act. There’s probably lots of examples. That’s the real problem here, that the governments make these decisions (and that is down to our form of democracy IMO).

                    I agree that the 2013 law change should have been more vigourously debated and challenged on the left (across the spectrum in fact). I will read your comment if you link to it, thanks.

              • JanM

                Martin Niemoller:
                “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
                Because I was not a Socialist.

                Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
                Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

                Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
                Because I was not a Jew.

                Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”

                We are meant to have universal suffrage – denying prisoners is the thin edge of the wedge – who will be next?

              • Murray Rawshark

                My suggestions start with taking the issue seriously rather than the kneejerk bullshit of “have them all at your place.” That really takes privatisation of penal policy to an obscene extreme and I doubt you’re worth debating with. I’ve had a few at my place over the years and had no problems with any of them. It’s not a solution though. It’s just Garth McVicar type bullshit.

                I suspect Arthur Taylor would have objected to the removal of the right to take cases to the Human Rights Review Tribunal as well. I did, but you’ll just have to take my word for that. I’m totally sick of the bullshit argument that prisoners get a sweet life because the government is so generous with them, at the expense of whatever group. If you want to blame prisoners for how you and your partner got treated in court, that’s your problem.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “That really takes privatisation of penal policy to an obscene extreme and I doubt you’re worth debating with. ”

                  Back again with the personal insults again MR?

                  Is that the best you’ve got??


                  A woman in her early sixties living in a state funded but privately owned facility goes on a hunger strike.

                  She had had over a decade since her disabling stoke, and had proved her strong will to live on more than one occasion.

                  However, a refusal by ‘the system’ to fund two pieces of equipment that would have made her life more tolerable drove her to go on a hunger strike.

                  Cue the ‘right to die with dignity’ crowd,

                  Now, if we have a convicted criminal who goes on a hunger strike, or attempts (or succeeds) to suicide in prison, do the ‘right to die with dignity’ crew step up and defend his rights?

                  Well? Do they?

                  No they damn well don’t.

                  Because a disabled person losing the will to live is , well, hey life’s a shit sandwich and its always lunchtime for those guys….

                  But a prisoner? MUST be because the ‘system’ is failing them.

                  And I don’t need you Mr Rawshark to tell me I’m not worthy…

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Once a citizen is compelled by force to stay at Her Majesty’s leisure, the Crown implicitly accepts extensive, specific and commensurate responsibilities that it must fulfil.

                    It’s not a hard concept to understand if you think about it in any depth instead of living on fake outrage.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      Actually it’s explicit, but I don’t think our Sensible Sentencing Trust advocate here would know the difference. I suspect the concept you mention is way out of her reach. Prisoners must lose their rights because someone’s cat ate a baby tui. Yeah, ridiculous. Prisoners must lose their rights because disabled people have a hard time. Just as bloody ridiculous, but neocon logic at its best. Iraq must be invaded because some Saudis directed from Afghanistan committed some atrocious attacks. Hmmm…maybe I’m the one that doesn’t see things clearly.

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    You had no hesitation in attacking Arthur Taylor personally. Is it different because he’s not here to defend himself?

        • Clemgeopin

          I am inclined to agree with you.

          Our constitution and bill of rights states two important points:

          [1] Under the title, ‘2. Democratic and Civil Rights’ it says,

          ‘As a New Zealand citizen over 18 you have the right to vote and to be a Member of Parliament’


          [2] The main part of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act states:

          ‘The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act places limits on the actions of those in government (including government departments, the judiciary, state-owned enterprises and local authorities) that interfere with the rights of individuals. The Bill of Rights Act also protects the rights of non-natural persons, for example, companies and incorporated societies.
          Laws to be consistent with the Bill of Rights

          All new legislation is examined to see if it is consistent with the rights and freedoms affirmed by the Bill of Rights Act. If there are any inconsistencies, then the government is required to provide a justification for the limits placed on these rights. The Attorney-General must report any inconsistencies with the Bill of Rights Act to Parliament when the legislation is introduced.
          Courts able to enforce the Bill of Rights

          If you believe that someone in government has interfered with your rights, you can apply to the courts to consider your claim that your rights have been breached.’

          Seems clear cut.
          I think the parliament, just because it had the majority, rammed through a discriminatory law preventing prisoners from voting. So, where does it end? If this is lawful, then what is to stop the government from ramming through a law preventing beneficiaries or any other disadvantaged group from taking part in voting?

          It would be interesting to read the verdict at the conclusion of this case.

          Here is the link to the NZ Bill of rights document:


      • Psycho Milt 18.1.2

        It is not clear to me how the honourable Mr. Taylor has managed to link prisoners with beneficiaries and low income earners….with the threat that the latter two groups could find their right to vote….gone.

        The link could be described as “people the government doesn’t like.” Taylor is saying that if the government can disenfranchise one group of people it doesn’t like, on the basis that it thinks they don’t deserve the vote, there’s nothing to prevent it disenfranchising other groups it finds undeserving.

        There’s plenty of historical precedent (eg, property-based franchises), and there are certainly commenters on Kiwiblog who’ve made the claim that only nett taxpayers (ie, people who pay more in tax than they receive in government transfers) should be allowed to vote. It seems to me he has a point.

        • weka

          I’m wondering if it’s worse than that. Not just the people that NACT don’t like or believe don’t deserve to vote, but those that would more likely vote for other parties.

          Is the Auckland Prison in Key’s electorate? I thought that was the implication but it wasn’t clear.

          • Murray Rawshark

            Paremoremo is in Key’s electorate.

            • weka


              I hope we get some more reporting on this, it certainly looks interesting. Like PM, I think the guy has a point.

              • Murray Rawshark

                I don’t think he’ll win this case, but I agree he has a point. When someone is convicted of certain crimes, the punishment is often loss of liberty. It is not loss of citizenship. Martyn Findlay fixed this years ago and it’s a real retrograde step to see it back.

  19. Gosman 19

    Seems like another cherished aim of left wing people the world over has taken a set back. The wealth tax on the super rich in France has basically been scrapped.

  20. Murray Rawshark 20

    Today I got Gosman’s replies. I had a long shower.

  21. Morrissey 21

    Did you get a belly laugh out of the Gaza massacre?
    John Oliver did.

    The late great Joan Rivers was, and Sacha Baron Cohen and Jerry Seinfeld are, notorious for finding amusement in the plight of the people of imprisoned Gaza and the Occupied Territories. But what some people regard as “serious” comedians are almost as bad. In this clip, John Oliver gets lots of laughs out of the bombing of Gaza. He treats it as if both sides are equally to blame. Kind of like the Germans and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising: both sides are equally to blame, equally crazy, so let’s laugh at the absurdity….

    John Oliver – World of Peacecraft

    • f.f.s..!..morrissy..! u have aspirations to be a censor..?

      ..and what exactly is wrong with that piece from oliver..?

      ..what weird-reading r u giving it..?’s all in yr

      • Morrissey 21.1.1

        Lay off the marijuana, phillip. It’s affecting not only your temper, so embarrassingly evident in your behaviour on this forum recently, but also your judgement—as demonstrated by your naïve campaign on behalf of the Clintonesque Elizabeth Warren.

  22. Philip Ferguson 22

    Piece on left victory in Greece with links to stories about important workers’ occupation:


  23. Morrissey 24

    David Hicks to be declared innocent?
    His critics should prepare to recant their smears

    The rightwing campaign against David Hicks assumed his guilt, and made it seem a radical position to defend due process
    by JEFF SPARROW, The Guardian, 26 January 2015

    On 29 March 2007, then-Sydney Morning Herald columnist Miranda Devine ran a victory lap.

    “By pleading guilty to terrorism this week,” she wrote, “David Hicks has plastered egg all over the faces of his supporters – the naive hysterics who believe he is a tortured innocent as well as those glory-seeking civil rights lawyers who have attached themselves to his case.”

    Now, according to Hicks’s lawyer, the US government no longer disputes his innocence and is expected to overturn his conviction within the month. Boy, do those civil rights campaigners look silly or what!

    It’s easy to ridicule pundits like Devine (and it’s fun, too) but there are serious matters at stake. David Hicks spent years incarcerated without charge. The issues involved in detaining a man without trial are hardly obscure.

    “I am merely in favour of due process,” wrote Mark Day in the Telegraph as early as 2002. “Until or unless the allegations against Hicks and Habib are tested in court, we cannot be sure of their accuracy. We all live by the rule that, if we are accused of doing wrong, we should be tried in a court. The facts should be tested; we are entitled to lawyers to defend us and we cannot be held for lengthy periods without charge.”

    Scarcely a radical position, one would have thought. Yet, when initial news broke about Hicks’ capture, the Howard government launched a remarkable campaign against him, one more-or-less predicated on his guilt.

    On 15 January 2002, attorney-general Daryl Williams declared Hicks “one of the world’s most dangerous people”, deserving of the treatment he received. Defence minister Robert Hill admitted he had no idea what law, in what country, Hicks had been broken – but agreed, nonetheless, he should be in custody. Alexander Downer explained Hicks deserved “harsh US retribution”.

    Asked if he thought detaining Hicks indefinitely without trial was fair, John Howard replied, “Given the circumstances of Afghanistan I think it is, yes.”

    Over the long years Hicks remained in Cuba, the Howard government continued to smear him, all the while dancing around the fundamental question: are Australian citizens entitled to due process or not? …..

    Read more….

  24. Penny Bright 25

    Just confirming that I will be standing as a (fiercely) Independent 2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    • McFlock 26.1

      aka “whoopsy-daisy”. Getting casual with firearms leads to ouchies – relatively fortunate outcome, this time, as apparently he’s recovering at home.

      Getting shot in the elevator is almost as painful as getting shot in the rotunda. Or even the portico. 🙂

      • greywarshark 26.1.1

        And washing the blood stain from the toga – well my dear it’s hell. (For tender hearted people who must weep with every numbskull who hurts him or herself I say – he who lives with a gun, is lucky not to die from a gun.)

    • weka 26.2

      ffs, they’re putting video of someone shooting themselves on a news website?

      • fender 26.2.1

        News ain’t what it used to/should be. RNZ 7pm reported how a rich guy bought an expensive horse ffs

        Meanwhile Key campaigned on no asset sales but today announced asset sales FFS

        • greywarshark

          @ fender
          It may have been that the racing industry and fine horse breeding industry is celebrating selling one of Patrick Hogan’s last at a good price, from one of his famous stallions. That is an industry employing people and we can well feel good about it being successful.

          Maybe we can go into breeding industries and have them bear offspring three at a time. Look triplets of lovely little workshops for making doodads which are very much in demand etc. Thank goodness for the animals and crops otherwise nothing would be happening in NZ except people throwing symbols at one another.

          I didn’t hear about the ass-it sales. I don’t listen to yek very often. Thanks for the heads up.

  25. Colonial Rawshark 27

    I know hedge fund managers buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,”

    The Super Rich know that the edifice they’ve built is coming down. I guess they’ll be expecting us to manage their (our) farms next and serve them vintage champagne.

  26. weka 28

    Just noting Key’s ad hominem in his response to Catton’s comments: “she’s a greenie therefore I don’t have to take any notice of what she says”

    [lprent: Moved to OpenMike. While this looks pretty damn obvious paraphrasing of the actual comment to me, it does appear to have allowed some stupid diversion commentary going on. Meandering way off topic. ]

  27. Wayne 29


    As you well know, the PM did not use the words you have set out as a quote. I have read what he actually said. What else could he be expected to say?

    One thing I would note about journalists in the MSM, is that they never misquoted me, or as far as I could see any other politician. It would be regarded as dishonest to do so, but that not deter you in the slightest.

    [lprent: Moved to OpenMike. While the comment you are referring to looks to be a pretty damn obvious paraphrasing of the actual comment to me, it does appear to have allowed some stupid diversion commentary going on. Meandering way off topic. ]

  28. David 30 Can the man get any more arrogant? Sorry if my link didn’t work, I’m computer literate, honest!

  29. Pete George 31

    A dishonest misquote.

    [lprent: I think that we can count PG as being an expert on the subject of how to misquote. However it looked to me like a paraphrase, especially since weka knows how to use blockquotes.

    Don’t derail posts like this again. You can go away and whine about me now… ]

    • McFlock 31.1

      great fact-checking there. /sarc

    • marty mars 31.2

      No it is not dishonest at all

      “She has been aligned with the Green Party, and that probably summarises the Green Party view of this Government. I don’t think that reflects what most New Zealanders perceive of the Government. If it was, they probably wouldn’t have voted for us in such large numbers… Key said he was not concerned with the level of international coverage Catton’s comments received.

      That’s the quote and weka summarises it well – although I find it amusing that key is going down the “voted for us in large numbers” line – desperate for him to get that out so early on or perhaps it will be the mantra for the rest of the year.

      • Pete George 31.2.1

        Except that weka didn’t post as a summary, it was posted as a quote. Now I’m sure if Wayne had tried something like that you and weka would’ve be all over him for it.

        Trying to defend it is as dishonest as doing it.

        • Paul


        • weka

          I think this is another example of your problems with comprehension PG*. I think that it’s pretty obvious from my phrasing that I’m not quoting Key, but paraphrasing. Key would never say what I paraphrased, because the point of what he is doing is to say something like I said, but to say it in a way that doesn’t make people think he is being rude or mean ie it’s reasonable to write off an award winning NZ author’s perspectives because she belongs to a crazy/evil political party.

          *either that or you are being a trole.

        • McFlock


          Now Pete’s arguing that a fact-checking bias is as dishonest as lying.
          The dissonance is strong in this one…

        • marty mars

          You are being dishonest pete because you know the obvious truth but still you can’t help, or resist, spreading dishonesty slurs against others for no reason other than bitterness.

          • Pete George

            Very funny. The obvious truth here is that weka got pinged for misquoting. Trying to turn that into attack looks a bit pathetic.

            • McFlock

              A ping is a single pulse, rather than an incessant and shrill whine.

            • Tracey

              she was pretending to be key and getting behind hdr opinion of what he meant. geesh

              authors opinions apparently are less valid than property speculators like jones or asset strippers like brierley.

    • emergency mike 31.3

      I think that weka could have indeed been clearer that it was an interpretation rather than a direct quote. If I do that I try to somehow say that’s what I’m doing, or avoid using quotation marks.

      But “dishonest misquote”? That implies an intention to mislead. If it was unfair interpretation of what Key said, then maybe. But it isn’t. So I’m not sure PG, how you have ruled out the possibility that weka has simply failed to live up your your blog commenting editorial standards regarding posting comments interpreting quotes.

      Or, get a grip and go find something else to blow your pedant whistle at.

      • Pete George 31.3.1

        Others have blown their “pedant whistle” on quoting here quite strongly.

        • emergency mike

          Maybe they were right to do so in those situations, maybe they weren’t. I don’t know. What I was meaning was that in this situation right here, this one, the one we’re talking about, you have no good reason to assume that weka was being dishonest.

    • Murray Rawshark 31.4

      Learn some comprehension of simple English.

  30. Bill 32

    Maybe italics and no quote marks or single apostrophes on either end of the passage would avoid any accusations or confusions? Just a thought.

    • Pete George 32.1

      It’s been discussed at length here before down to a single apostrophe. I’d be surprised if all of the above defenders weren’t aware of that.

      It can’t be expected that everyone will guess what is paraphrased and what is quoted. Especially when preceded with “in his response”.

      I wouldn’t expect to get away with a stunt like that unscathed.

      • weka 32.1.1

        “It can’t be expected that everyone will guess what is paraphrased and what is quoted. Especially when preceded with “in his response”.”

        You can always ask. But where’s the fun or aggro in that eh?

        But tell me Pete, do you honestly believe that I deliberately wrote a comment and attributed it to Key knowing he hadn’t actually said it?

    • weka 32.2

      “Maybe italics and no quote marks or single apostrophes on either end of the passage would avoid any accusations or confusions? Just a thought.”

      Yeah, I’m wondering how to do that. I don’t think italics, because I use italics to quote directly a lot. But apostrophes instead of quotation marks would probably have been better.

      I honestly didn’t even think about it though, because it seems obvious to me that my sentence is something that Key would never say. Next time I’ll put some cussing in.

    • Te Reo Putake 32.3

      Single quotes indicate that the line is ‘in the style of’, rather than a direct quote. So that’s the go. However, context is King. There can’t have been many readers who read it and thought it was real, especially with the word “greenie” rendered in italics.

      And apparently even fewer readers who thought it was worth mentioning. Actually, just one sad pedant, as far as I can tell.

      • weka 32.3.1

        Cheers, single quotes it is.

        I don’t think Pete was being a pedant, because otherwise he would have corrected me and told me to use the right form of punctuation. He was being a trole.

        /pedantry 😀

  31. weka 33

    “As you well know, the PM did not use the words you have set out as a quote. I have read what he actually said.”

    I probably should have used ‘ ‘ instead of ” “. Would that have helped?

    “What else could he be expected to say?”

    Depends on whether you think he is speaking as the PM of NZ, or the leader of the National Party. The more he has to undermine dissenting voices, the less a real leader he is and is instead about the power.

    If he was speaking as PM of NZ, he could have just left out all the stuff about the GP, commended her on her success as a writer, said he disgreed with her politics, and then addressed the points she raised and talked about how this govt intends to fix some of them (I’m talking about the stuff about how writers and intellectuals get treated in NZ).

    He could have just ignored the neoliberal stuff, but of course that would present a dilemma because Catton was actually right. It’s also a problem that he believes he gets votes from being anti-intellectual. Like I said, he’s not the PM there, he’s grafting votes for the National party.

    • Pete George 33.1

      Why should he have left out the Green party?

      Author Catton endorses Green Party vote

      Booker prizewinning author Eleanor Catton, whose novel thrust the spotlight on goldrush Hokitika, has publicly backed the Green Party, saying she would be happy to be taxed more.

      The launch was attended by The Luminaries author Catton, who urged people to give their party vote to the Greens.

      “I want my children and my children’s children to be proud of the steps I took on their behalf to protect this country and what matters about it. That’s why I’m giving my party vote to the Greens.”

      Key saying “She has been aligned with the Green Party, and that probably summarises the Green Party view of this Government” seems reasonably close to the mark to me.

      • fender 33.1.1

        I wish you would join the bowling club..

      • weka 33.1.2

        Fuck off Pete. Wayne asked me what I thought Key could have done differently. I’ve given an example and detailed explanation. Your comment is completely irrelevant to that, so again, is this a comprehension problem or troling?

        • Paul

          He takes pride in derailing a thread.
          And sadly it is working.

        • Pete George

          You said “If he was speaking as PM of NZ, he could have just left out all the stuff about the GP” (actual quote), I was responding to that.

          • weka

            Read the whole comment, and then read Wayne’s and my conversation, and then it might start to make sense. Otherwise you can fuck right off.

            The thing is Pete, when I do engage with you genuinely you can’t handle it (eg the sustainable farming conversation the other day). So really, why bother?

          • Ecosse_Maidy

            Christ on A Skateboard.
            I haven’t had chance to view TS for a while.
            I missed it. Yet I consoled myself by thinking oh by now they will have ejected PG Self Fak Checker by now and he will be working on getting booted at another site, per his rota.
            Yet I come on here and he’s still here! My dreams of a decent read of TS without PG scrolitits, defleections, hijackings of threads, shattered!….Is it beyond the wit of Man to have the bloke exiled to his own gaff? I mean if Your New Zealand site is that bloody good, should he not be spending more time there!?

      • sabine 33.1.3

        and being a member or a supporter of any of the other parties is now a reason to dismiss some award winning writer as a “loonie”, cause ” wink” ‘wink’ we all now how the ‘Greenies’ are “loonies” that have no Idea about the economy, or culture, or farming or anything? right ? right?

        Dear PG, what has the National Government done or what new Laws has it enacted, or what new spending has it allowed that would and has benefitted all New Zealanders? Please ….just for once, untwist your knickers and answer.

        Because, you see…if the PM and his Minions would have and would still act in the best of this country, to the betterment of your fellow country men and women than the PM would get accolades instead of just “Ack” ‘Ack’ ‘Ack” .

        BTW. Pathic is the word that comes to mind when reading your whinging about ‘quotes’ ‘attributes’ and proper blog ettiquete.

      • emergency mike 33.1.4

        “Key saying “She has been aligned with the Green Party, and that probably summarises the Green Party view of this Government” seems reasonably close to the mark to me.”

        What mark is that Pete? The how to respond to criticism by unfairly questioning the motives of the critic instead of addressing their actual criticisms mark?

      • Naturesong 33.1.5

        Except that is arse about, as you well know.

        That an author supports the Green party does not make her a spokesperson for them.

        By the same logic, Cameron Slater speaks on behalf of the National Party.

        Hmm, you might be onto something there …

  32. Anne 34

    It works David. 🙂

    And the news outlets – TV1 and TV3 6pm news – don’t even mention it. Can you imagine if it was a Labour MP who was being investigated by the police.

    a) the police would be leaking like a sieve with a dirty, great hole in the middle.
    b) the MSM would be publicly howling with faux rage at such a dastardly happenstance,

    But nah… it’s a Nat so we’ll keep quiet for as long as we can.

  33. Paul 35

    New Adam Curtis out….’Bitter Lake.’

    ‘Increasingly, we live in a world where nothing makes any sense,” says Adam Curtis. “Events come and go like waves of a fever, leaving us confused and uncertain. Those in power tell stories to help us make sense of the complexity of reality, but those stories are increasingly unconvincing and hollow.”

    So Curtis – who made The Century of Self, The Power of Nightmares, and The Trap: What Happened To Our Dream of Freedom – has made a new film, called Bitter Lake (BBC iPlayer, now), about why those stories stopped making sense, and to try to make sense of them. It’s available only on BBC’s iPlayer, because that means it doesn’t have to fit in with tedious constraints like schedules (it’s two hours 18 minutes long) or conventional ideas about what television should look like.

  34. Ecosse_Maidy 36

    Just been listening to Radio Propaganda Hour,
    They say Furher keys to announce tomorrow the selling off of 20,000 stated owned homes. Where are people going to live? What are unemployed, dis advantaged etc etc going to do?:
    Is The Furher going to provide a cardboard box for the evictees or park benches?
    He frees up this block of social housing so his mates from his class and fellow Nats, can pile in, make a profit, and live there.

    ********* Social Cleansing or What!

    Can we ask The Greeks for a Moral Conscience Loan?

    • weka 37.1

      Interesting article though. We could be doing so much better with the research if it were legal.

      One thing that many people seem to miss, and I’m not sure how research handles this, but people react to the drug differently. To suggest that cannabis is an anti-anxiety drug completely ignores the well-know paranoia phenomenom.

  35. Draco T Bastard 38

    Just something that older Gamers may be interested in. It certainly may make it’s way onto my must buy list.

  36. lprent 39

    Ouch – nasty jam.

    • lprent 39.1

      Ok that appeared to be some server bots going a bit crazy. They jammed the database at 128 threads running (usually we peak at 12).

      The system chopped a number of B level IP ranges off accessing this system. However it wasn’t hair trigger enough to do that before it jammed at the database.

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